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Church Pew

John and Denise had made arrangements with their church to have their newborn baby dedicated. Because the church had rescheduled the baby dedication service once from an earlier date, Denise told John to call the church a week before the newly rescheduled date to make sure that the dedication service would take place on that day.  “Oh, come on Honey, you know it’s the church.  Things work like clock work at that church!  If they say it’s going to be on so and so date, you can count on it,” John replied. 

Few days later, Denise again asked him if he could call just to be sure the date was set.  But John gave her the same verbiage about how efficient their church runs.  He thought that she was worrying for nothing.  He figured if the church had rescheduled again someone would at least have called to notify them.  But since no one called, why should he worry about another cancellation.  “Denise worries too much,” he thought to himself. 

The Friday before the baby dedication Sunday, Denise pleaded with John again to call the church to find out if the baby dedication was still scheduled for that Sunday.  Reluctantly, John caved in, and called the church; just to shut her up.  But when he called, he learned that the baby dedication service had been rescheduled -- again!   

If Denise had not insisted that John called the church, they would have shown up at the church the next Sunday; with their invited friends and family in tow for the baby dedication, only to find out that it’d been rescheduled, again!   

As light of an issue that might have been, it does describe how often most men, married or unmarried (especially married men), don’t or rarely listen to their wives or women.  I will be the first to admit that I’m guilty of that charge too sometimes, (my wife would say many times).  I could see myself easily in John’s shoes. 

For most of us men, we think that we know what we are doing. We think that women worry too much. And when it comes to running the household, we walk around with the “I’ve got this!” attitude; thereby thinking we don’t need anyone telling us what to do.   

For many of us men, we think that being heads of households means that we don’t have to check with our wives or listen to what they have they to say, especially when we think that we’ve thought our decisions through and through.  But often times the Lord humbles us to show us that there are indeed times (many times for some of us) when we ought to shut up, listen and do what our wives say. 

One of the several complaints many married women have about their husbands is the fact that their husbands don’t listen to them.  They say that when it comes to decision making that their husbands don’t value their opinions.  Even when men call themselves having a family meeting, it’s not to get a woman’s opinion but to push their opinions on the woman. 

While this may be true for some men, it is not true for a lot of men.  It’s not that men don’t value their wives’ opinions; it’s just that they value their own opinions more than they value their wives opinions – even if those opinions kill them.   

Besides, one of the most difficult things for a man is to be told what to do by another person -- man or woman.   A man hates anything that suggests that he’s not in control or lost control.  And to a man, being told what to do (especially by his wife) is often perceived as a loss of control.  So his male ego gets in the way.  Sometimes, a man’s ego can make him reject a good idea, even if his life depends on it.   King Solomon said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  Proverbs 14:12 

But a man should not use this as an excuse not to listen to a woman, especially his wife.  In fact, he may hurt himself and his family for not listening to his wife.  One thing a man has to learn, and quickly too, once he gets married is how and when to listen to his wife; based on God’s Word.  Not based on how and when his wife wants him to listen to her.  Unfortunately, many men never go on to learn how and when to listen to their wives. And when they do listen, it’s usually not according to God’s Word. 

Once married, what a man (and woman) has to learn quickly and submit to, is the fact that it’s not who is right but what’s right for the marriage, especially according to God’s plan and purpose for that marriage.  That is, it’s not whose opinion is better but what opinion is in line with God’s purpose and will for the family.  It is for this reason that a man has to pack up his ego; and a woman her emotions – so that both of them can get in line with God’s Word and will.  

By the way, for the purpose of this writing, the word woman, even though is used in reference to a wife, is not limited to a wife. It can be used to refer to any woman in a man’s life: mother, sister, aunt, female boss or even a female acquaintance.   

Why Listen to a Woman?

A man should listen to a woman because God can speak to a man through his wife. God will speak to a man through his wife, especially when God can’t get the man’s attention. That is, when a man is caught up in his own ways or wrapped up in his own opinion or agenda, to the extent that he’s blinded and deafened by it.  God spoke through a donkey when a prophet (Balaam) insisted on doing his own thing (Numbers 22:28).  

Besides, physiologically, women are generally more intuitive and perceptive than men.  As a result of this, they often see what men miss, and can point their attention to it.  Men on the other hand have laser-like vision. Once they lock their eyes on something that’s the only thing they see; which is good sometimes.  But sometimes it’s a problem. God knew this.  This might have been one of the reasons why He made Eve for Adam – to help him cover areas he would often miss.  Perhaps, that’s why He said that “It is not good that man be alone,” after He made Adam.  

Now, if God thought that Adam, before the Fall, needed help and made Eve, how much chance does a man stand after the Fall, to think that he can do it all alone?     

I’ll admit, knowing when to listen to a woman is an art.  It’s not as easy as it sounds. Particularly knowing when God is speaking to you through your wife.  Often times when God speaks to a man through his wife, it is a confirmation of what He’s already told the man, but which he refused to do, because it contradicts what he wants to do.  

When to Listen to a Woman

So, when should a man listen to a woman? 

1.      When a woman’s idea saves a man from physical harm – Rahab, the harlot (Joshua 2:1-22)

Imagine what might have happened to the two spies Joshua sent to Jericho to spy the land, when they lodged at Rahab, the harlot’s house.  When the king’s messengers came to capture those men, Rahab not only hid the men, but she told them where to go and how to go, to avoid being captured by the messengers. 

What if the men had not listened to Rahab?  And assumed that she didn’t know what she was talking about. They might have endangered their lives, and risked being killed.  But the men were sensible enough to listen to Rahab, thus saving their own lives. 

Personally, I can relate to this.  There had been times while driving, when my wife pointed out to me some things I didn’t see, that had saved us from being in accidents.  For instance, there had been times I almost came over on cars in my blind spot, while changing lanes.  But for my wife’s quick shout of “Baby, you are running into another car” we might have been in accidents.    

2.      When a woman’s idea keeps a man from sinning against God -- Abigail & David (1 Samuel 25:2-39)

Anytime a woman’s idea will stop a man from sinning, he ought to listen.  Take David, when he was running from Saul.  There came a time he needed food for himself and his soldiers, and sent messengers to a man, Nabal, for food, whose flock and sheepshearers his bandits had protected from other bandits.  Nabal refused to give David’s messengers food. 

David, in his anger, decided to wipe out Nabal, his household and everything he owned.  But just before David carried out his plan, Abigail, Nabal’s wife heard what her husband had done, and what David was planning to do to her household.  Quickly, she took food and gifts to meet David on the way, and begged him to overlook her husband’s folly. David listened to her and didn’t destroy Nabal and his household; thus stopping David from avenging himself, when vengeance is the Lord’s. 

Then David said to Abigail: "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!  And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.” 1 Samuel 25:32-33 

What if David had disregarded what Abigail said, and gone ahead with his plan to kill Nabal and his household?  He would have sinned against God; by taking matters into his own hands.   

3.      When a woman’s idea counteracts evil or mischief – Esther (Esther 5:1-5; 7:1-10)

Like the story of Nabal, Abigail and David above, a man ought to listen to a woman when her idea counteracts evil or mischief to save a nation. A biblical example of this is Queen Esther; when Haman plotted to have King Ahaesurus annihilate the Jews; while exiled in Bablyon, when Persia overthrew Babylon. Queen Esther risked her own life to go see the King, when she was not summoned; a move that could have cost her life.   

Esther was able to convince King Ahaesurus that Haman was the evil one, who was plotting to kill her people.  King Ahaesurus listened to Esther, thus reversing the earlier instruction to kill the exiled Jews; and urging the Jews to fight for themselves if anyone attacked them.  If Ahaesurus had not listened to Esther, he would have fallen for Haman’s mischief, thus committing genocide against innocent people. 

4.      When a woman’s idea prevents a man from shedding innocent blood – Pilate and his wife (Matthew 27:19-24 )

When Jesus was taken to Pilate to be sentenced for execution, Pilate’s wife sent a message to him (Pilate), warning him not to have anything to do with Jesus’ death.  But Pilate didn’t listen to her, even though he “washed” his hands off the case, he still delivered Jesus to the Jews to be executed; thereby having an innocent Man’s blood on his hands.   

If he had listened to her, he wouldn’t have had an innocent Person’s blood on his hands.  With or without his consent, Jesus was destined for the Cross anyway. The Pharisees would have found a way to kill Him.  But at least Pilate wouldn’t have been an accomplice to murder, by killing the King of Glory.  

5.      When a woman’s idea leads to salvation – The Samaritan woman at the well. (John 4:1-42)

If you are an unbeliever married to a believer, and she has been urging you to give your life to Christ, the wisest thing you can do is heed her advice, by giving your life to Christ.   

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, and told her He was the Messiah, the woman went back to her household to tell her household that she had met the Messiah.  The men in her household listened to her and followed her to meet Jesus, and in turn got saved. What if they had not listened to her?  They might have been eternally damned for not taking her seriously.   

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:28-29 

6.      When a woman has a wise idea – King Lemuel’s mother (Proverbs 31)

A man ought to listen to a woman when she’s full of wisdom and her advice or instruction leads to life.   Proverbs 31, most commonly known for its characteristics of a virtuous woman is indeed a mother’s instruction to her son, King Lemuel.  Lemuel’s mother’s advice to her son can be summarized as three main advices:

·         Advice against womanizing

·         Advice against drinking

·         Characteristics of a good wife (woman). 

7.      When a woman’s idea meets the needs of others – Jesus/Mary at a wedding ceremony (John 2:1-10)

A man ought to listen to a woman when her idea meets the needs of others.  At a wedding ceremony, when Mary (Jesus’ mother) noticed that they ran out of wine, she told Jesus about it.  Jesus, even though, didn’t want to show his heavenly power yet, listened to His mother, by turning water into wine. 

These are some examples of when to listen to a woman.  As we can see, without a doubt, there are several examples both in the Bible and in our lives when it is in a man’s best interests to listen to a woman.  Indeed, there are times (several times) when it is beneficial for a man to listen to a woman.   My prayer for us men, is that we all know how and when to listen to a woman.   

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